Airbus announced (19-Oct-2017) the first A330neo conducted its maiden test flight. The aircraft (MSN 1795) is a A330-900 and the first of three certification flight-test aircraft to fly. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The A330neo certification development programme will cover around 1400 flight-test hours. This will comprise:
- 1100 flight hours for the A330-900 campaign – to achieve its respective EASA and FAA type certifications around the middle of 2018;
- 300 flight hours for A330-800 version – which will be certified in 2019.
Overall, the full A330neo family flight-test campaign will be performed by three certification flight-test aircraft, plus the first production aircraft (the latter to validate the ‘Airspace’ cabin prior to entry into service). The A330neo’s two versions – the A330-800 and A330-900 – will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout. The aircraft will accommodate up to 10 more seats, offer new ‘Airspace’ cabin amenities, and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices and use more efficient engines compared to the A330ceo. [more – original PR]